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How Confidence Can Be Worked From The Outside In

How Confidence Can Be Worked From The Outside In
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We have all been scared to death for our job interviews, anxious to meet someone, or afraid to be in a new environment. You may say you have seen people who seem so confident when they walk in the room, but the truth is that even the most confident person on earth has struggles in these situations.

What sets this bunch apart from the crowd is that they know the key to being confident. So, how do we boost and build up our confidence? Fake it ’til you make it.

The key to confidence is to be able to act like you are confident even when you are not. How you present yourself is crucial.

The way you dress affects your psychological state.

How you dress is a basic rule that we follow when we go to different occasions. Others usually gravitate towards the person who “dresses the part”, and contribute positive attributes to that person. For example, a person who wears glasses[1] and dress up formally is perceived as smarter than one who dresses very casually in an interview. At the same time, what we wear affects how we see ourselves.

Researchers have coined the term “enclothed cognition”,[2] meaning that what you wear affects your physical and psychological state. The clothes you put on can either make or break your self-confidence level.

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The researchers conducted a test on the effects of wearing a lab coat.

A pretest found that a lab coat is generally associated with attentiveness and carefulness. We therefore predicted that wearing a lab coat would increase performance on attention-related tasks.

Because of the symbolic meaning and physical experience of wearing the lab clothe, physically wearing a lab coat increased selective attention compared to not wearing a lab coat. Wearing a lab coat, which is also called a doctor’s coat, increased sustained attention compared to wearing a lab coat described as a painter’s coat.

Your posture very much represents your mental status.

How do you sit? What posture are you in right now? When a model walks down the runway, if they walk with a straight spine, they will be more confident comparing to those who slouch. Your posture is very important to show that you have confidence.

A study shows that having good posture affects a person’s testosterone and cortisol.[3] Testosterone is the dominance hormone, and cortisol is the stress hormone. A person with a powerful posture has an increased testosterone level, and a decreased cortisol level, meaning high self-confidence and low stress.

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On the other hand, a person who slouches or has a bad posture is more likely to have a decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol.

Next time you are waiting for an interview, don’t hunch and crunch up your shoulders. Go to the bathroom and stretch out, the very small acts will probably make a great difference.

The way you act changes how others see you and also how you see yourself.

In relation to posture, a person’s body language also has a major impact on self-confidence. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has previously done a study on body language and confidence.[4] She concluded that people who take a wider, more spread out movement tend to be more confident.

Strong body language and taking up more space contribute to a more dominant and confident image. At the same time, because of displaying powerful poses, one’s stress level is reduced, which in turn boosts a person’s confidence.

Start with small changes for great confidence.

It’s simple, the principle of letting others believe that you are confident is to dress, look, and act the part to build self-confidence.

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Stand up straight but relaxed

  1. Stand with your feet as wide as your hips
  2. Pull up your head to make yourself as tall as possible
  3. Then relax your shoulders and your neck

Sit up straight but not rigid

When you sit up straight, you will feel quite tall when sitting at a table. Keep your back straight, but relax as much as possible.

Position your feet at about hip width apart

Putting your feet closer together generally signifies insecurity, and a wider stance indicates confidence.

Smile like you are happy to be there

Smile like you really like what you are seeing. A single smile is so powerful that it can often turn a low self-esteem and negative person positive.[5]

Don’t lean on or against objects

Leaning on or against an object signifies passivity and insecurity. Try to remain a good posture all the times.

Dress up with what makes you comfortable in different occasions

Consider your body shape and style, find something that makes you confident and comfortable. You can check out the essential tips to dress with confidence: 6 Essential Ways To Start Dressing With Confidence

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Make sure your body language is strong when you speak next time.

It will make you feel more confident and comfortable to speak your mind!

You might still wonder if you are naturally unsure or insecure, it might be a treacherous journey to boost your self-confidence. But don’t worry and just take your time. Don’t be afraid to invest more time and effort in fashion, don’t hesitate to pull your shoulders back, and don’t wait to take a powerful body position. Start small, finish big.

Featured photo credit: Ron Sachs—Picture Alliance/DPA/AP via timedotcom.files.wordpress.com

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Frank Yung

Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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